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Thread: Can a 2 channel amp fade?

  1. #1
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    Can a 2 channel amp fade?

    I'm a bit stuck picking an amplifier. One thing I know I want is the ability to have a fade control between the front and back speakers. I get tired of "kid music" and like being able to play it in the back speakers.

    Is it possible to use a 2 channel amp and still fade the sound? If not, how do you do it with a 4 channel amp? Everything I've read about 4 channel amps and mac minis makes me think the 4 channel amp is actually acting like a 2 channel amp. It seems like there must be a device that would sit between the amp and the speakers that would allow for controlling how much wattage is sent to them. I'd love to be able to control this through the mac interface, but I'll settle for a physical dial if I have to.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate natedawgg's Avatar
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    i wouldn't think that the fact that your using a mac would have any effect on the way your amp works. any computer that is using a standard audio card (integrated into the motherboard) is most likely to just put out the same type of sound in 2 separate channels (obviously there are motherboard with surround sound built in but for the sake of this conversation lets just assume). Anyway my point is that mac/pc/whatever has no bearing on how your amp works. if you have a 2 channel amp, there is a good chance you are only going to be able to fade left to right, since you only have 2 channels in and 2 channels out. If you have a 4 channel amp (depending on the amp) you should be able to get front/back - left/right fade. I would also suggest posting this in the car audio forum, you may get better responses there.
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  3. #3
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    Hmmm, ok, I guess I'm asking the wrong crowd. You're right, this isn't so much a Mac question as it is an Audio question. I recognize I'm only going to get a stereo output from the Mac. That's perfectly fine with me. I just want to be able to shut off some speakers. I guess it's not the end of the world if I need a physical device to do it instead of through the touch screen interface.

    I'm starting to think either a cutoff switch or a potentiometer on the front two speakers is all I need.

    Anyway, I'll repost this on an audio forum. Thanks Nate.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate Project07MACry's Avatar
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    IMHO, you'll do better with a separate device, preferably an equalizer or sound processor for the power to fade. Never go to the software for sound issues; the less you rely on software, the better. Also, stick with the four channel amp. Mine's a Rockford Fosgate for $150, and the sound is awesome. From the amp itself, I can determine if I want full sound to come from the front, or just the bass to come fron the front. Once you work it, it works for you...

    Hmm, from the looks of things, you and Nastra622 are after similar desires with better sound control on the Mac. Perhaps you two should link up and compare notes about recommendations. I'm open to most suggestions!!

  5. #5
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    My only reason for wanting it done through the Mac is for aesthetics. The screen fits nicely into my dash and the Mac Mini fits nicely in the glove box. I get nervous at the idea of cutting new holes into my dashboard.

    That said, I'm open to whatever works.

    What about just a switch connected to the RCA cables? i.e. no fade, just on/off. I can't think of a time when I've wanted it loud in the back but quiet in the front or vice versa. I always use the fade to effectively turn the sound in the front off completely so my wife and I can talk.

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate
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    If the mac can output 4-channel audio, then you should be able to turn down the front 2 channels.

    If not, (and you can only output 2-ch) then you would either need to
    -on-the-fly adjust the gain on the front channels way low (and this may not even silence the front)
    -or use something like the Alpine PXA-H701/RUX-C701 which can accept 2-ch in (as analog or spdif) and do whatever you want with it, including make the front speakers quiet. (It would then output 4-ch analog audio to your 4-ch amp)
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